Carl Theodor Dreyer's La Passion De Jeanne D Arc

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Through studying how historical films are able to display events from the past in either an accurately or highly romanticised form, I have been able to see how my perception on historical film has been altered. My original conception of what makes a film historical was just that the film had to show events from the past in a coherent order. Through referring to the film I used in the introductory essay, Carl Theodor Dreyer's La passion de Jeanne d'Arc (1928) and how Arthur Penn's Bonnie and Clyde changed by views, I will reflect on how my views have changed on how film as an instrument for historical analysis have been changed. I will do this through reflecting how my views have changed through what makes film a historic film, studying how…show more content…
At the time of the first essay I was convinced that a film that told history was just used to retell past events. Gaining an understanding for the context is what changed my views about seeing films as a valid form of Historiography. My original thoughts on La passion de Jeanne d'Arc coincided with this, as I just assumed it was an art house attempt at telling the court hearings of Joan of Arc. Looking further into the context of the film's director, Dreyer, it is seen that due to the death of his birth mother and distance from his adoptive mother that Dreyer was manifesting a high idealisation of self-sacrificial and relentless women. At the time of making La passion de Jeanne d'Arc, Dreyer would show to be permanently taking a stance of his concern for the social standings of women. This is also evident through Bonnie and Clyde. Bonnie and Clyde to me is the archetypal romanticised historical film. The films depiction of the acts committed by Bonnie and Clyde show to a lenient form of history, which is evident when considering the accuracy of the film, which allows for a more entertaining movie for the viewing public. This in my opinion works in the films favour. Penn showed that a historic film could hold context. When asked if historical accuracy was important for the crew he replied saying " Never tried, never…show more content…
Through this semester my eyes have been opened to a wider array of cinematic techniques used by directors to convey the histories they are portraying. Be it from Malick's use of grassy meadows or Penn's fast directing. This subject changed how I saw different techniques and what they exactly meant. Dreyer's techniques used throughout his film show the definite degradation and demise of one of history's most prolific and powerful female leaders. The final images of Joan burning alive imprints a confronting image which Dreyer used to show the final fall for women, while also being a metaphor for the horrible social standing of women during the 1920s. Siobhan McKeown states that "...there are more than 1500 shots in 82 minutes. The pace of these shots creates pressure, a percussive back and forth that beats against Joan." , and it is through these shots that we can see the demise of Joan and the metaphor for women's undeserved place in the world. Furthermore Dreyer's innovations towards film making at the time were highly praised, which contributed to how this subject taught me the importance of certain shots being crucial in depicting the fall of Joan. Studying Bonnie and Clyde also shows redefining techniques in cinematic techniques through special effects and pushing the bar for on screen violence. Penn uses the violence in the movie to give a social

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